BERLIN – Singapore Changi Airport handled a record 42.0 million passenger movements in 2010, crossing the 40-million mark for the first time and joining a league of only seven airports in the world to handle more than 40 million international passenger movements. For the 12 months ended August 2011, Changi Airport registered 45.1 million passenger movements, an increase of 10.1% over the previous corresponding period. Changi is on track to surpass its annual passenger traffic record this year, bringing it closer to achieving 50 million passenger movements by 2013.
Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) Senior Vice President for Market Development, said, “We are pleased with Changi Airport’s strong performance in the last couple of years. Singapore is strategically located at the crossroads of China, India and Australia, and Changi has served as the ideal air hub for airlines to tap on Asia’s growth. With some 5,200 weekly flights and a capacity of more than 550,000 weekly one-way seats to Asia and the Southwest Pacific, Changi is the world’s gateway to the two regions.”
Changi Airport’s strong traffic performance has been underpinned by the positive outlook for tourism and business travel in Singapore. In 2010, origin-destination passengers increased 19.1% on-year and accounted for 71% of Changi’s overall traffic. Buoyed by the opening of Singapore’s integrated resorts and the success of major events such as the Formula 1 night race, visitor arrivals to Singapore increased 20.2% to 11.6 million in 2010. For the 12 months ended July 2011, visitor arrivals to Singapore grew 15.8%.
According to the International Congress and Convention Association, Singapore is Asia’s top conventions city for the ninth consecutive year. In 2010, Singapore attracted 3.1 million business travellers, accounting for 27% of Singapore’s total visitor arrivals. Reflecting Singapore’s attractiveness as a business destination, Changi Airport has the highest proportion of premium passengers among Southeast Asian airports – one in 10 passengers passing through Changi travels either in first or business class.
“The changes in Singapore’s tourism landscape have opened up numerous opportunities for the travel industry. Coupling Singapore’s position as a key financial centre with the impending launch of new tourism products such as the Gardens by the Bay, a new International Cruise Terminal and Asia’s first River Safari, visitor arrival numbers are set to reach record levels in the next few years. As demand for travel increases, it is crucial that Changi continues to stay well-connected to the world,” said Mr Lim.
Most connected to China and India
Riding on the economic growth of China and India, passenger traffic between Singapore and the two markets grew by double-digits in 2010. More than 600 weekly flights currently connect Singapore to 24 Chinese cities. Among the eight (1) new city links to be connected to Changi this year, three are in China. From 31 October, Changsha will be connected to Changi for the first time via SilkAir.
Changi Airport welcomed India’s largest low cost carrier IndiGo Airlines last month. IndiGo operates daily flights to New Delhi and will include a Singapore-Mumbai service from 10 October 2011. With the addition of IndiGo’s services to the two cities, Singapore will be linked to India by some 380 weekly flights with connections to 11 destinations. With Changi’s extensive reach into China and India, Singapore is the most connected point to the two countries from Southeast Asia.
Changi Airport’s performance has also been fuelled by a robust expansion in long-haul markets. This year, Changi welcomed Finnair’s daily non-stop service linking Singapore to Helsinki. Changi also established its first connection to South America in March 2011 with the introduction of Singapore Airlines’ thrice-weekly service from Singapore to Sao Paulo, Brazil via Barcelona. By the end of 2011, Changi will be connected to the Russian Far East for the first time when Vladivostok Air commences operations to Singapore.
Besides opening up new routes, Changi works actively with its airline partners to deepen existing long-haul trunk routes. Later this month, Lufthansa will join Singapore Airlines and Qantas to operate the A380 aircraft at Changi Airport. With the addition of Lufthansa, Changi will become the world’s busiest multi-carrier A380 hub. In addition, Singapore Airlines will begin operating the superjumbo on its Singapore-Frankfurt-New York service from January next year. By the end of January 2012, Changi will serve three carriers operating 210 weekly A380 flights to 10 cities around the world (2).
As CAG focuses on enhancing Changi Airport’s connectivity to the world, it will also continue to innovate and refresh Changi’s in-airport service offerings so that travellers continue to enjoy the first-class experience which they have become accustomed to.
Passengers can look forward to a brand new Terminal 1 when renovations are completed in the first quarter of next year. Aside from bigger holding rooms and wider walkways, Changi’s Terminal 1 features a ‘tropical city’ theme with large open spaces amidst lush greenery. As the world’s most awarded airport, Changi has garnered more than 380 ‘best airport’ awards since 1981. Just last week, Changi received the ‘Best Airport in the World’ accolade for a record 24th time from readers of Business-Traveller (UK).
“The progress Changi has made over the years is the result of the unwavering support of our airline partners. While the business environment remains volatile, the closely-knitted partnership between Changi and its family of airlines will help Changi brave through storms and overcome challenges. We are committed to working closely with our partners to create win-win opportunities for growth,” added Mr Lim.